Mercedes chief hopes Max Verstappen wins F1 title – ‘Time for someone other than Hamilton’

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A high-ranking Mercedes boss has potentially incurred the wrath of the team by admitting publicly he would like to see Lewis Hamilton lose the F1 world championship. The Brit is in danger of failing to win the title for the first time since 2016, with Max Verstappen currently 12 points ahead.

Only five races remain for Hamilton to get back on top and make sure he secures the outright record for the most championships won by one man – he currently shares it with Michael Schumacher on seven.

Meanwhile, Verstappen is gunning for his first F1 crown, and it will be some achievement if he manages to do so considering he is up against one of the best of all time.

Naturally everyone at Mercedes is doing everything they can to make sure it is their man who holds the trophy aloft by the time the final race is over – well, most of them.

Hubert Haupt, who owns and drives for a team which competes in the DTM championship with three Mercedes cars, is actively cheering on the German manufacturer’s biggest rival for the final few races of the season.

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He says he is fully committed to Mercedes in the DTM series, but feels no need to be loyal to team in other championships.

“I think it’s time for someone other than (Lewis) Hamilton to become world champion,” Haupt told Sport1.

“In terms of Formula 1, it would be huge for Red Bull to win the title, so I hope Verstappen manages it.”

The next two Grands Prix take place in Mexico and Brazil, at two tracks which have historically suited the Red Bull cars better than their Mercedes counterparts.

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Haupt added he believes the Dutchman will have the title in the bag if he can win in Mexico City and at Interlagos.

“There are still a few more circuits that suit Mercedes, but if Max scores well in the next two races, he will have the nerve to hang onto it,” the 52-year-old said.

Meanwhile, the German also gave his opinion on compatriot Sebastian Vettel, who he says could be performing a lot better in his first season with Aston Martin.

Vettel is a four-time world champion, but struggled in his time at Ferrari and has managed 36 points so far this season with his new employers.

“Sebastian does not seem to be able to drive quite so freely at the moment,” Haupt observed of the 34-year-old.

“He broods a lot and that could be costing him in lap time.”

Even if the German was at the top of his game, Haupt added, he still might not be able to keep up with Hamilton and Verstappen at the front of the grid.

Haupt concluded: “Even back in Formula 3, Lewis was unbeatable. Sebastian was a little behind him. He was then in the best car when he become champion with Red Bull.

“It’s a little different for him now.”

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